Olmert's Visit Sparks Ad War Between Jewish Organizations

Prime Minister Ehud Olmert's visit to the United States has sparked a war of advertisements among Jewish organizations.

A full page ad in today's New York Times will welcome Olmert. The ad was purchased by the American branch of Kadima, a recently established group of Kadima supporters based in New York.

The ad, which features a large picture of Olmert, says that the American Jewish community stands united beside Israel and supports Olmert's peace efforts. It also wishes Olmert success in his talks with President George Bush and in his appearance before Congress. It is signed by Rabbi Mark Schneier, the organization's president, and his deputy, Mark Mishan.

However, the Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) published a giant ad in the Washington Post today denouncing the "breathtaking" and one-sided concessions that Olmert intends to make to the Hamas-led Palestinian Authority. The ad, which will also run in Jewish American weeklies, says that an Israeli withdrawal from the West Bank would endanger the United States' military interests in the Middle East.

The ZOA represents the Jewish community's right flank. Its president, Morton Klein, complained yesterday that he was not invited to a meeting between Olmert and Jewish leaders in Washington due to his hawkish views and criticism of the prime minister.